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Postconsumer PET recycling figures reach an all-time high in the US

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The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced that the2011 U.S. recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic containers has stayed strong at 29.3 percent.

The “2011 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity” shows the total volume of postconsumer PET bottles collected was the highest measured to date at 1,604 million pounds; the total amount of RPET produced by U.S. reclaimers was also at an all-time high of 667 million pounds.

 “We are pleased to see that PET collection increased in 2011, despite some challenges,”​ said Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman and vice president of Global Procurement and Material Systems for Plastipak Packaging.

“United States reclaimers purchased a record 916 million pounds of postconsumer bottles in 2011, and 1.04 billion pounds of recycled PET went back into new product applications. These increases happened despite the effects of PET bottle lightweighting, which really played out this year to a greater extent than we’ve seen to date.”

The incidence of lighter bottles in the stream reflects manufacturers’ commitment to improving PET’s environmental footprint, but means additional handling for PET recyclers in the short term in order to produce the same weights.

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